In my last post, I talked about my recent trip to Israel and included some insights on travel, terrorism and foreign cultures. This week, I will continue my discussion on Israel but focus more on the reason we’re all here … singles and dating!
While I had no initial intention of checking out men and the dating scene while abroad, I couldn’t help but do a little sleuthing into the Israeli dating culture. So, there I was, using the free Wi-Fi on the long bus rides, Tindering and JDating – all in the name of journalistic research, of course. (Blogging is a tough gig!) What I found in the very short time that I was actively swiping is quite interesting and possibly indicative of the culture as a whole:
- Mega Matches: First, there are more overall matches. Duh, it’s Israel – more Jews. But also, instead of guessing who might be Jewish based on looks or common friends, there is a huge chance that a random Tinder match actually is a member of the tribe. Cool.
- Every Kind Of Jew: Because of the numerous options, it’s easy to meet lots of different people, even if it is only for a date or two. I was taken aback by the diversity of fellow Jews that we encountered; if you’re searching for a blue-eyed, dark-skinned partner who keeps kosher in the home but isn’t shomer Shabbos and knows three languages and how to shoot a gun, for example, you might have your pick of several options!
- Fast First Moves: It appears that men in Israel are more forward. This could be anecdotal or just remnants of a stereotype, but guys tended to be more likely to make the first online move and more quickly, too. This might also be a result of “new-in-town syndrome” – you know, when you’re in a new place and guys discover that a new person is in town, so they flock to you like droves of vultures with high hopes. Then they meet you and run away. Or maybe that’s just me.
- Looking For Forever: The general dating vibe in Israel is a little more serious. People there typically want to get married. Again, totally anecdotal; however, according to an article in Haaretz, young adults tend to generally date one person at a time in Israel, as opposed to juggling multiples or keeping second choices on the back burner. They may only see someone for one date, but many people prefer to give full attention to just one prospect at a time, reinforcing the more serious nature of Israeli dating.
Another observation: Our hotel lobby played host to several presumed first dates during our relatively short stay. Apparently, the “Hotel Lobby Date” is a thing in Israel (and in New York, from what I’ve heard); I’m surprised someone hasn’t yet made a reality show about the real lobbies of Jerusalem or something.
In conclusion, my analysis shows that conditions are ripe in Israel for finding nice Jewish partners. Just ask my second cousin who moved to Tel Aviv a few years ago – we reconnected with her on the trip and also met her adorable Israeli boyfriend! I bet he has some cute friends for those interested in making Aliyah.
Having just returned to my native LA after living 22 years in Israel – many of them single, I can attest that many of the things you notice are true. I actually learned alot about the American Jews by reading your article. Wondering why men are so SLOW here :-)?! As a feminine woman, I expect the man to make the first move. This is much more the case in Israel.
I joined Jdate English version (very different dynamic than the Hebrew version) hoping to meet a mentsch who would be open to coming to Israel with me – though that doesn’t necessarily mean staying there forever…though it has been an important part of my life, both socially, culturally and professionally.